Ilhan Omar's campaign paid her husband's firm nearly $2.8M
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Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., has paid nearly $2.8 million to her husband's political consulting firm so far in the 2019-2020 election cycle, including nearly 70% of her third-quarter disbursements.
Federal Election Commission data shows that Omar's campaign sent $1.6 million to E Street Group LLC, which is owned by her husband Tim Mynett, from the start of 2019 through Jul. 22, 2020. After that, she reported an additional $1.1 million in the third quarter and $27,000 in the following weeks. That $1.1 million constituted nearly 70% of the $1.6 million that Omar's campaign spent that quarter.
The expenses covered a range of services, including cable advertising, "digital consulting," video production and editing.
Omar handily won re-election last week amid criticism surrounding the way she financed her campaign. She married Mynett, a campaign consultant, in March after having funneled more than $500,000 to his firm by that point.
Neither Omar's office, her campaign, nor E Street immediately responded to Fox News' requests for comment.
The Minnesota congresswoman previously tweeted a lengthy thread in which she defended her expenses. She claimed that her relationship with her husband began long after her campaign started working with his firm.
"We consulted with a top FEC campaign attorney to ensure there were no possible legal issues with our relationship," she said. "We were told this is not uncommon and that no, there weren’t."
The payments are possible because of a 1960s federal anti-nepotism statute that prohibits members of Congress from hiring relatives for government jobs but does not block family members from doing campaign work, a former chief ethics lawyer from the administration of former President George W. Bush told The New York Post.
"It should not be allowed," attorney Richard Painter said. "I think it’s a horrible idea to allow it, given the amount of money that goes into these campaigns from special interests."
Painter ran as a Democrat for a Minnesota Senate seat in 2018, but lost to Sen. Tina Smith in the primary.
Omar and Mynett wed after she divorced her then-husband in November of 2019. Although Omar denied having an affair, divorce papers from Mynett's ex-wife alleged the opposite.
Fox News' Dom Callichio contributed to this report.
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